Every gamer needs good audio in order to enjoy their games to the fullest, and even those who prefer to listen to music over the in-game sound also need some pretty good audio hardware.
And of course, it’s essential to have a good microphone to be able to communicate with your friends/teammates while teaming up in Overwatch, or taking down Ragnaros in WoW Classic.
From raiding with your guild, to barking orders to your squad during combat or just admiring the tunes of Final Fantasy VII Remake, here are some of our top picks for gaming headsets. We’ve organised them in ascending order of price to help speed up your shopping a little bit.
HyperX Cloud Stinger
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is a really solid option at just under $100. It has almost all the essential features that every gamer needs: comfortable build and ear cups for long gaming sessions, decent microphone, accessible on-ear controls, and a really decent audio quality.
Sure, the sound may get distorted at higher volume levels, but we don’t imagine the sound to be that loud all the time. As such, this may well be quite the steal on this list.
Corsair HS50 Pro Stereo
Another really solid budget offering, Corsair’s HS50 Pro Stereo provides a good mix of comfort and quality sound at a really good price. Its ear cups are adjustable, and the memory foam material makes them super comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time.
Like many of the budget headsets on this list, the HS50 comes with on-ear controls for some easy tweaking, and an all-around solid sound thanks to its 50mm drivers.
JBL Quantum 400
JBL’s first dedicated gaming range is actually a decent one. The Quantum 400 boasts the new JBL QuantumSURROUND sound technology, which, despite being a mouthful, offers a great deal of immersion as it actually captures 360-degree sound quite well and provides some really interesting spatial audio.
It’s actually quite (scarily) accurate especially when playing FPS games, allowing you to more accurately gauge the distance of opponents approaching or running away from you.
For those not picky about mics, the one on the Quantum 400 may not be the best out there, but it certainly gets the job done. The presence of a mute button on the ear cups is another blessing in disguise, which is great if you just want to focus on the game and not on the trash-talkers on the enemy team.
Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
Razer’s headsets are constant top performers in just about any budget range, and the Kraken Tournament Edition is no surprise as a great mid-range offering.
Razer’s acquisition of audio company THX gives the Kraken TE’s bass some much-needed oomph, especially in the middle of firefights in the likes of Call of Duty: Warzone or The Division 2, despite not having as much overall dynamic range compared to the more pricey entries on this list.
That said, it still produces very good audio overall, and will not disappoint users in the long run.
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
Don’t be fooled by this headset’s modest design compared to the rest on this list, because the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is about one of the best wireless gaming headsets of its price range. For its price, it’s got great sound, as well as a detachable mic, so it can be used for just casual listening.
Its main draw, however, is the USB-C dongle that is used to connect it with, which makes it pairable with just about any device that supports USB-C. Yes, that also includes the Nintendo Switch, which is currently sorely lacking in dedicated wireless options.
Logitech G Pro X with Blue VO!CE
One of the more premium items on this list, the Logitech G Pro X is definitely worth every penny, that is, if you can afford it.
The comfort level on the G Pro X is on par with the best in the market, with the premium leatherette material used on the headband and ear cups, which are swappable for mesh ones included in the box.
Audio-wise, the G Pro X does superbly in general, with a solid dynamic range that suits gaming, movies and music equally well thanks to its hybrid mesh 50mm drivers.
More importantly, this edition of the G Pro X headset comes with the prestigious Blue VO!CE technology, which provides some really sweet voice delivery, with the ability to customise it on the fly on the Logitech G Hub app.
Though Audio-Technica isn’t really the first name that pops into one’s head when it comes to gaming headsets, the company has actually managed to produce a really solid one in the ATH-G1.
Like most of its commercial cousins, the ATH-G1 sports a really sleek and lightweight design, with a really comfortable pair of earcups. Plus, it has a detachable mic that allows it to be used casually as well.
Its 45mm drivers, while not the biggest on this list, still manage to provide some really solid audio, both in and out of gaming. Like the SteelSeries Arctis 1, it’s definitely one of the more well-rounded gaming headsets on this list, though for those of the wired persuasion.
Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp
Mostly known for their console-centric audio peripherals, Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro 2 actually performs really well on PC.
Designed primarily for pro gaming, the Elite Pro 2 is powered by massive 50mm NANOCLEAR speaker drivers for some high-octane sound that shines both in gaming and movies, especially those that involve a lot of explosions and bassy sound effects.
Turtle Beach’s TRUSPEAK technology ranks as one of the best voice technologies out there, and for good reason. And it’s super comfy memory foam ear cups (which are swappable) are the proverbial cherry on the icing.
Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless
The most pricey item on this list, the Astro A50 Gen 4 is what many would call one of the best gaming headphones in recent years. And also a wallet-destroyer, which is quite justifiable given what it offers.
From swappable comfy ear cups, to a rich, deep and dynamic audio range, to solid passive noise cancellation and a really crisp mic, this is one beast of a headset.
Oh, and did we forget to mention that it’s wireless and has a really solid wireless connection at that? Yeah, it’s got pretty much everything a dedicated gamer could hope for.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.